This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of February 4

2022-02-04 TWIR Image-Brickyard postcard

February 3, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Image: Postcard, View of the Brick Yards, Haverstraw, NY. Date unknown. Courtesy of the New City Library, via NYHeritage.]
       There are other things beside building lots and farms actively changing hands in our county just now, and some things quite as valuable. Mr. James Eckerson, of Haverstraw, has, we are informed, just completed the sale of one of his brick yards to Isaac and George Sherwood, of that place, old and experienced brick makers, for the sum of $40,000. This property is not part of Mr. Eckerson’s main brick property, but is a small yard adjoining it which Mr. Eckerson bought of Hon. George S. Allison, about four years ago, for $34,000. Mr. Eckerson reserves eight large building lots valued at $1,000 each from the Allison purchase, making his estimated profit from the transaction about $12,000 or $14,000. We are informed that Messrs. Sherwood have been offered an advance on their purchase of $5,000 and that the property is regarded as cheap at that rate.

February 3, 1922 – 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

       Two little girls miraculously escaped death or serious injury Wednesday afternoon when they coasted under a Buick roadster on the hill near Kline’s corners at West Nyack. The car was proceeding down the hill when the two children on a sled darted from a field into the road and under the running board of the Buick. How the Nyack man ever stopped his auto in time to prevent the rear wheel of the car from running over the children is a mystery to him, he stated yesterday. The children escaped with slight bruises on their heads. Fortunately for them they were riding on their sled in belly-whop fashion and so were able to scoot under the running board of the Buick.

       For the first time in the history of the local Post Office, Edward Gilhuley and “Jimmy” Collins have disagreed and “are on the outs” with each other, so to speak. It’s this way, Gilhuley and Collins engaged in a quarrel yesterday over Ground Hog Day, whether or not there is any truth to the saying that we will have six weeks more winter because the Ground Hog saw his shadow and went back into his hole. Gilhuley says the Ground Hog tells the truth. Jimmy says he is wrong, the Ground Hog has nothing to do with it. “It ain’t a Ground Hog, it’s a Woodchuck that comes out to see his shadow, anyway,” Collins says. Jimmy asserted that not even the Woodchuck saying is true. He predicts an early spring and not six weeks more winter as the “holy” animal would have us think. No steps have as yet been taken to bring about a peace treaty between Mr. Gilhuley and Mr. Collins and for that reason the entire corps of clerks in the Post Office worry over them every time Collins passes the money order desk

February 2, 1972 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

       By most standards, the Francis Kirk family of Tappan should live well. Kirk, a letter carrier, makes almost $11,000 a year. The family lives in a modest, two-bedroom house on quiet Grand Avenue.
       The Kirks might well be termed typical of middle America. But middle America, Mrs. Kirk says, is being squeezed and her family is caught up in the middle-class squeeze of rising taxes and rising prices.
       “I come from a family that was always comfortable, and now we are extremely uncomfortable,” Mrs. Kirk complained.
       “I truly believe that we would have more on welfare. At least our medical needs would be taken care of. Why must those of us who have scrimped and kept our spending to a minimum be expected to keep on giving and giving when there is so little left to give?”
       Mrs. Kirk, who is a native Rocklander, said she has seen most of her childhood friends leave the county because the cost of living here is just too high. She said she and her family would follow her friends if the cost of moving were not so great.
       ‘‘Our home was purchased for $18,900 six and half years ago. We have made no improvements on it other than partial painting of the outside with donated paint. We desperately need another bedroom and a dining room, which we don’t have. In 1965, the total taxes were $425. They are now $1100.”
       The Kirks’ two-bedroom house accommodates Mr. and Mrs. Kirk and their two children: a boy six years old and a girl 10 years old. The Kirks do not own a drier, color TV, dishwasher, or two cars.
       Their black and white TV was bought in 1961. Their car is a 1963 Chevy II. They own a 30-year-old stove, a 12-year-old washer, a 30-year-old Electrolux, a six-and-a-half-year-old refrigerator, and a 45-year-old upright piano.
       ‘‘I am an avid thrift shop buyer and feed a family of four on $75 every two weeks,” Mrs. Kirk said. ‘‘We go to the movies once every six months and out to dinner on food shopping night with the kids. If it weren’t for the Fire Dept., which my husband belongs to, we would not get out socially more than two times a year.”
       The financial squeeze in which the Kirks find themselves is a common complaint of Middle America. Mrs. Kirk’s lament could well be that of many others.
       ‘‘If it weren’t for the constant rise in taxes from all sides, we might be able to replace a few things and still have some left over to splurge on ourselves. What doesn’t go out in taxes, goes to the utility companies, where our bill has more than doubled also. On a salary like ours the only way we could get what we feel we should deserve after 12 years of marriage is to go deeply in debt. We refuse to go over $500 in debt. We are the middle class, and we are really caught in the middle!”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


After reading the 2/2/1972 article it seems to me that things today are about he same!

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